Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) says it is concerned about the escalating illicit trade of goods in the country. Chief Executive Officer of BLSA Busi Mavuso says the country is losing billions to illicit trade and this has been made worse by the ban of alcohol and cigarettes during level four and five lockdown restrictions.

The ban on alcohol and tobacco products was intended to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Earlier this week, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the easing of lockdown regulations including the lifting of the alcohol ban: 

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) says it has lost over R1.5 billion in excess duty as a result of the alcohol and cigarette restrictions implemented last year. Mavuso says the government needs to do a lot more to end the black market trade in the country.

“If ethics were high we would not be sitting with such a high number of illicit trading in this country. And what does it mean for you and I when we go and support these illicit traders and buy those goods. Because we might look at it as a problem that has nothing to do with us but when you look at it we are also promoting the exacerbation in the buying of these products.”

BLSA discusses ways to curb illicit trade: